NME’s Fraser McAlpine reviews this week’s singles, featuring Jessie Ware, Charli XCX, EMA and Breton
Woo Woos – ‘Fizzy Lettuce’
It’s inconceivable that a band with the sense to call themselves WooWoos don’t know that ‘Fizzy Lettuce’ is a silly title for a brooding pop song. Especially when they refuse to explain how this salad became carbonated in the first place. Then again, they do also sing about dessert, and I could swear someone mentions rollmops in the chorus, so there’s a lesson for us all here: never write while peckish.
Jessie Ware – ‘Strangest Feeling’
Meanwhile, Jessie, who can’t tell if she’s hungry or sad, has embarked on a ramshackle adventure a woozy world away from her previous SBTRKT productions. ‘Strangest Feeling’ is what happens when you take a sparkling Katy B pop song and throw it in a haunted moat. The twinkly bits are washed off by a murk of clicks and moans, while the bass becomes progressively more waterlogged.
Breton – ‘Edward The Confessor’
There’s a bit halfway through this relentless face-prod of a song where a spiralling harp attempts to curl around the unforgiving rhythm, to make everything less austere. It’s a gesture as beautifully doomed as putting a tulip on a pneumatic drill. Forget Hard-Fi trying to capture the sounds of the street, this is the sound breezeblocks would make if they decided to form a band, instead of a wall.
Charli XCX – ‘Nuclear Seasons’
“Huh! Breezeblocks… You think THAT’S clever,” sing the Geiger counters on the shelf, “wait until you hear OUR band. We’ve got that Charli XCX in, and she’s singing in a pouty voice about surviving decay, yeah? And we swoosh around doomily in the background. Throw in some melodious hiccups in the chorus and we’re off to Top Of The Pops!” They were ever so sad when I told them the show had been cancelled.
EMA – ‘Marked’
Remember the twinkly bits from Jessie Ware’s song? That’s the stuff EMA makes her music out of: the scrape of raw knuckle across guitar string, an ominous rumble, a worried child’s internal monologue, the wheezing of an asthmatic angel, leaning on the organ in a church, these are her fragments. How she manages to sew them all into a recognisable quilt by the end of proceedings is anyone’s guess.
Bos Angelese – ‘Days Of Youth’
There’s no time for sonic stitch-work for the Bos boys. Their mission is simpler: 1) Make a buckety surf noise. 2) Repeat it. 3) Sing, dance, whoop, shimmy. 4) Stop, a mere two minutes and 16 seconds later. 5) Go about their business. Which just leaves you and me to complete item 6) Repeat until snoozy.